Most of us have faced times of anxiety when a loved one is facing physical problems. Waiting for one who is in surgery can try one's nerves, even if your trust is in the Lord. When you don't know exactly what is happening it can be so hard. And I am convinced there is no such thing as minor surgery, unless, of course, it is surgery on somebody not related to you. Any surgery or procedure has risks and things can go wrong.
Anxiety can also kick in when you are waiting to hear the results of tests that you or a loved one has had. What did the tests reveal? Is it cancer? The days and hours seem to go so slowly when you are waiting for those answers.
When my wife was in the hospital in July she was in critical condition from a blood infection caused by a diseased gall bladder. Waiting for answers and for improvement in her vitals and test results was a real strain. The days and hours passed so slowly until her condition finally began to improve.
But during that time a test revealed an additional possible serious problem that couldn't be dealt with at that time in her weakened condition. And later she was referred to a specialist from Philadelphia. After studying her results he recommended another MRI with contrast when her health improved.
Now MRI's aren't always fun but they are a real problem for those, like my wife, who have a pacemaker. In fact, unless the pacemaker is MRI compatible, you can't even have an MRI. Thankfully we asked to have a compatible one implanted when she received hers. But that then requires that a cardiologist be present to turn it off before the scan and then reset it after the scan. So for that reason it has to be scheduled weeks in advance and can only be done in a hospital.
So the test was finally set up for Thursday at LGH. I was led to believe that it would take about an hour. After being admitted she was taken by wheelchair on a long trip to the far regions of the hospital where the MRI is located. I was to wait for her in the hospital admitting area, far from the MRI area.
Assuming she would be gone for an hour, I went to visit my brother-in-law who just had a knee replacement. After about 30 minutes visiting with him I returned to the waiting area to wait for my wife. She wasn't allowed to eat or drink for four hours before the test so we planned to go for something to eat as soon as she was done.
And I waited, and waited, and waited. Stating to feel a little anxious, I asked the attendant if she knew how much longer it would be. She called the MRI area and they said she would be back in at most 30 minutes. That half hour passed slowly while I waited. Still she was not back. Later the attendant called again and they said it would be 20 more minutes, but gave no reason for the delays. Now I was beginning to be concerned that there might have been a problem with her heart. More than 20 minutes passed again and I had now waited much more than 2 hours. Finally the attendant called them again and this time they at least let me talk to my wife who told me there was no reason to worry. The MRI was just finished and they were waiting for the cardiologist to come to reset her pacemaker. So, almost 3 hours after we arrived, my wife was finally done. So much for an hour procedure. I guess eventually by blood pressure and anxiety settled.
As it turns out the problem was that she had to wait for everything – the initial interview, then the cardiologist, then the MRI technicians, then the MRI, then the cardiologist again, and finally somebody to bring her back to where I was. Not a very efficient process. A little more communication with me would have made it so much better and might have reduced my anxiety.
Unfortunately, anxiety is a problem that I deal with. I know it is wrong and I do trust the Lord, but I guess I need to learn to exercise more faith and patience. Am I the only person with that problem?
But, thankfully, the MRI and the pacemaker went well and my anxiety was just wasted energy, as it usually is. Of course, now we must wait two more weeks to learn the results and I imagine my anxiety will again return as that time approaches. I must remind myself, "Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you!"
Hopefully you don't have a problem with anxiety. It's stressful!